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DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2004.CHT-04.170
page 19

Charl G. Jat Du Toit
School of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa

Pieter G. Rousseau
North-West University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cape Town, Upper Campus, Rondebosch, 7701, South Africa

Gideon P. Greyvenstein
School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Potchefstroom University for CHE, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa

W. A. Landman
M-Tech Industrial, South Africa


The theoretical basis and conceptual formulation of a comprehensive reactor model to simulate the thermal-fluid phenomena of the PBMR reactor core and core structures is given. Through a rigorous analysis the fundamental equations are recast in a form that is suitable for incorporation in a systems CFD code. The formulation of the equations results in a collection of one-dimensional elements (models) that can be used to construct a comprehensive multidimensional network model of the reactor. The elements account for the pressure drop through the reactor; the convective heat transport by the gas; the convection heat transfer between the gas and the solids; the radiative, contact and convection heat transfer between the pebbles and the heat conduction in the pebbles. Results from the numerical model are compared with that of experiments conducted on the SANA facility covering a range of temperatures as well as two different fluids and different heating configurations. The good comparison obtained between the simulated and measured results show that the systems CFD approach sufficiently accounts for all of the important phenomena encountered in the quasi-steady natural convection driven flows that will prevail after critical events in a reactor. The fact that the computer simulation time for all of the simulations was less than three seconds on a standard notebook computer also indicates that the new model indeed achieves a fine balance between accuracy and simplicity. The new model can therefore be used with confidence and still allow quick integrated plant simulations.

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